Protein Cinnamon Rolls

Ginormous frosted cinnamon rolls for just 190 calories and 2g of fat! These cinnamon rolls are insanely delicious and so fun to make. Even better – they are lightened up from traditional cinnamon rolls and packed with protein!

There’s no denying the melt-in-your mouth amazingness of the cinnamon roll! For most people trying to eat healthy, cinnamon rolls are typically put in the “I shouldn’t” category, but they don’t have to be! Especially with rolls that are this macro friendly, it is EASY to fit one (or even 2… or 3…) into your day!

Just look at the comparison between your classic Cinnabon roll and these protein cinnamon rolls – it is no wonder cinnamon rolls get a bad rep. They are pretty calorie dense. I just want to note here that, yes, you can eat Cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon and still live a balanced life. However, if you are trying to lose weight, it does make things a little more challenging and does require more planning to make it “fit.” With these protein cinnamon rolls, you don’t have to worry about planning your day around a single cinnamon roll. You can make one fit easily with plenty of room to eat something alongside it!

Also, just because these are made with butter and real sugar doesn’t mean they aren’t “healthy.” Everything is fine in moderation and again, unlike Cinnabon, these are pretty EASY to fit into your day.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE PROTEIN CINNAMON ROLLS

  • They are doughy and delicious – because these are made similar to normal cinnamon rolls with flour and yeast, these rolls bring a doughy texture.
  • Short list of ingredients – just a couple of ingredients needed and most you are sure to have in your pantry and fridge already!
  • The macros are amazing! They are low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, AND higher protein than your typical cinnamon roll. More macro magic!
  • They are fun and easy to make – these may not be as easy as some of my recipes (because lets be honest – most of my recipes are pretty dang easy!) but for even the amateur baker, these rolls are not hard by any means. It is fun to bake with yeast and rolling out homemade dough. I have had many mom’s tell me they made these with their kids and that they had a field day!
  • The frosting – enough said. Creamy vanilla cream cheese frosting. It pairs amazing on the baked cinnamon butter rolls!!

WHAT YOU NEED

FOR THE CINNAMON ROLLS:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Protein powder – I would recommend a subtle vanilla flavor for best results.  I used PEScience protein powder. It mixes well and tastes amazing. If you are going to use another brand, do make sure that it is a similar whey + casein blend. (You can save 10% on PEScience products with my affiliate code LaurenFitFoodie)
  • Water
  • Sugar + more sweetener of choice – sugar to mix with the yeast and water (real sugar allows the yeast to grow best). You can use more sugar or another sweetener of choice for the inside swirl. I used granulated Splenda for baking.
  • Active fast-rising yeast – if you are using active dry yeast instead of fast-rising yeast, you may need to let dough sit longer as it may take longer for it to rise
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter – I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light

FOR THE ICING:

  • Cream cheese – I used fat-free but you can use 1/3 reduced fat or regular cream cheese if you need to.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Protein powder – I used PEScience vanilla
  • Almond milk – or other milk of choice
  • Sweetener

IMPORTANT NOTES

These took a a little bit more time (and effort) than most of my recipes, but still easy to follow along! There are just a couple of parts of this recipe I want to highlight and emphasize the importance of.

Appropriate water temperature – An important key to this recipe is making sure the water is the right temperature to optimally allow the yeast to let dough rise. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it is not warm enough, the yeast will not be activated to rise. The goal is between 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you don’t have a thermometer, just aim for warm water (not scalding) that feels like bath water temperature.

Mixing the dough: Initially, it will seem like there is too much flour and protein powder for it to be too dry to mix. Keep stirring, the flour will mix in and a ball of dough will form.

Kneading the dough: You want to make sure you knead the dough for at least 5 minutes before flattening it out.

Tracking tips: If you want to be the most accurate, weigh dough after it has initially been rolled (step 3) and then weigh dough again after kneading (step 4).

HOW TO STORE

Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge to prevent hardening of the rolls. Rolls will last up to a week.

CAN THESE BE MADE IN ADVANCE?

Yes! You can go ahead and prep these rolls the night before to make it super easy the next morning! You can do this by either just prepping the dough (pausing at step 5) OR going ahead and making the rolls so that they are ready to be put in the oven!

Absolutely in LOVE with how these turned out! If you love Cinnamon rolls, I absolutely insist you try these out!

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try these cinnamon rolls and love them, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 8

Protein Cinnamon Rolls

Protein Cinnamon Rolls

Ginormous frosted cinnamon rolls for just 190 calories and 2g of fat! These cinnamon rolls are insanely delicious and so fun to make. Even better - they are lightened up from traditional cinnamon rolls and packed with protein!

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 ¾ to 2 cups All Purpose flour (200g) + extra for rolling (I used an extra 25g)
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder (96g)
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp 100-110 °F warm water (150 mL)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 to 2 packets active fast rising yeast (10g)
  • 2 tbsp light butter (30 mL)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp zero-calorie sweetener

Icing:

  • 6 ounces fat-free cream cheese (170g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/3 scoop vanilla protein powder (10g)
  • 2 tsp sweetener

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add warm water. You are going for a bath water temperature – around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Getting the right temperature is important because it will effect the rising capability of the yeast.
  2. Stir in 1 tbsp sugar and the fast rise yeast packet until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour in 200g all-purpose flour and stir as you go. Repeat with the protein powder after the flour is added. Now is where you need to keep track of how much flour you are adding until you get the dough in its final form. Continue to slowly add in flour until dough is completely formed. You’ll want it just slightly sticky.
  4. Sprinkle extra flour on a surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  5. Place ball into separate greased bowl and cover with towel. Let sit in a warm place for up to an hour. During the time, the dough should rise and double in size. (TIP: you can always microwave a bowl of water until boiling and leave in microwave with bowl of dough to create an enclosed space for the dough to rise.)
  6. After dough has risen, roll out again on a floured surface. Flatten into a rectangular shape.
  7. Melt the butter and spread on top of the dough. Add the cinnamon and sweetener. You will want to add more than you think is necessary and a lot of it will absorb in the dough.
  8. Starting at one end, roll up the dough. Using a serrated knife, cut dough every 1.5 inches or so. Place in a sprayed round or square pan.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Let dough rise some more in pan while oven gets warm.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Check frequently towards the end. You will want the dough to be soft, but still cooked throughout.
  11. While rolls are baking, cream the cream cheese using a hand mixer. Add in the vanilla, sweetener, protein powder, and milk, and mix until combined.
  12. When rolls are done, apply icing and enjoy!

Notes

MFP ENTRY

Lauren Fit Foodie Protein Cinnamon Rolls

STORAGE

Keep Cinnamon Rolls stored in the fridge in an air tight container. Any loose air will cause the outer layer of the roll to harden.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 roll with icing (87g)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 2gCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 17g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

33 Comments

  1. I was intimated by this recipe at first! HOLY COW it was worth it! These cinnamon rolls are huge and feel so indulgent!

    • Thanks for sharing, these really hit the spot! The dough turned out a little on the dry side for me, presumably because different protein powders absorb liquid differently. Next time I’ll add a little salt to the dough as well, as it seemed to be missing something. Overall a good recipe and I’ll definitely be making again.

  2. These have been on my list forever to try but I’m finally going to make these next week for Christmas! I’m going to use my gluten free all purpose flour to make a GF version. They look so decadent and fancy 🙂

  3. These are absolutely amazing! I remember always having cinnamon rolls on weekend mornings as a kid and these are just as good! Thank you for all your amazing recipes!!

  4. Cinnabons are my weakness, but I hate wasting the calories on them. Then Lauren comes in and makes a KILLER recipe that is not only macro friendly but legit tastes like a cinnamon roll. I’m VERY happy with how these turned out!

  5. These are so good, if you love sweets for breakfast or post workout then these are for you!!! delicious and packed with protein

  6. These are one of my favorite recipes by Lauren. They don’t leave a whey protein after taste and taste so so so similar to Cinnabon. Make them once a week and have them every morning

  7. I used to love eating Cinnabon but hated the way they made me feel from all the added sugars. These protein cinnamon rolls are the perfect alternative!

  8. I can’t wait to try these!! They look amazing. I was wondering, can you freeze the rolls before adding the cream cheese? And how long will they keep in the fridge for?
    Thanks!

    • Coconut has different absorbent properties and can’t be subbed, but you can definitely sub with almond flour!

  9. Loved this recipe. It was my first ever attempt at making cinnamon rolls. I had to use a different brand of protein as your isn’t available here in Bangkok. They turned out dry, although tasted yummy. Do you know what could have been the reason? Tad bit of a newbie at baking. 🙂

    Thank you very much for such a lovely recipe.

    • I am so glad you loved it! To be honest, I feel like it likely has a lot to do with the protein powder. Some just do not compare when used in baked goods. Is there a way you can look up best protein powders in your area? I would recommend a whey + casein blend like this one. Besides that, you can try baking for less time 🙂

  10. BETTER THAN THE REAL THING! I make these cinnamon rolls often and they are honestly better than any other homemade cinnamon rolls (not even considering the amazing macros!!). The first time I made these and shared them with my family, while usually they aren’t big on things with protein powder (I feel like in their minds, they just hold a grudge against protein desserts, stereotyping them to be the less flavorful, ”not-really-like-the-real-thing, ” creations (TOTALLY untrue) ); however, after serving them for the first time, we ALL couldn’t get enough and had them for dessert each night until they were gone (NOTE: this only took a few days LOL). Since then, these have become a staple recipe and I look forward to eating them fresh and warm, but equally reheated in the microwave, and topped with the warm drizzle of cream cheese icing on top! Thank you SO MUCH LAUREN FOR THIS CREATION/masterpiece, and for sharing it with the rest of the world!

  11. I made these today and I can’t believe how great they turned out! My husband, who usually scoffs at my “healthy” dessert attempts ate 3 of them! I used a different brand of protein powder, but I wanted to try the PEScience one to make them again. Do you think the Snickerdoodle flavor Instead of Cake Pop would work well? I wanted to try some of your other recipes that use Snickerdoodle. Thanks!

  12. I can’t wait to try these out! Thank you for detailing everything out! As I’m new to using monk fruit sweetner….I was just curious if you thought it would be good to use in the dough and frosting. And if so…would I use the same amount that you listed?

    • Hey Heather! I am excited for you too!! I do not have much experience with monk fruit sweetener so I can’t say for sure. I know I need to use real sugar (instead of splenda) for the dough to get it to react with the yeast and rise. But as far as the frosting I think it would work amazing for that!

    • Hi Lucy,

      I haven’t tried personally so I can’t say, but if you try it I would love to know how it turns out 🙂

  13. I followed all the directions and used the recommended ingredients including thr $35 protein powder. They were ok but dry. I have questions:

    Does the following tip mean knead the dough AGAIN after its first proof? If so, it’s a step of its own so more than a tip.

    Kneading the dough: You want to make sure you knead the dough for at least 5 minutes before flattening it out.

    Why weigh the dough? Should it be lighter or heavier? What are the approximate target weights?

    Tracking tips: If you want to be the most accurate, weigh dough after it has initially been rolled (step 3) and then weigh dough again after kneading (step 4).

    What size is the rectangle? I wonder if the reason the buns were dry is because they were under proofed and too small.

    Thanks! Will try again if I get this info.

  14. These are so good! They came together easily too. My husband and two year old loved them. I love that they don’t come with the sugar buzz and crash of regular cinnamon rolls, but taste just as amazing!

    • Thank you for comment Kenna! Exactly why I love them!! So happy to hear they were a hit with the hubs and your toddler too! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.